Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Red Queen Series: An incomplete yet comprehensive visual list of awesomeness (so far)

We are really close to finishing up all the special things for Cruel Crown and Glass Sword. 


But! The novellas are available and the bind-up is almost here—so much beautiful watery blood. So with that, Happy Halloween!

Digital novella available now!

Digital novella available 01/2016

Printed bind-up available early 2016
4C over silver stock / overall matte • spot UV / embossed title

*Such a tease.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Glass Sword

YAY, it's here! It's here! Glass Sword can finally be shared, and I have to admit it's freaking beautiful.

4C over sliver foil—2 hits white • embossed crown & title.
Blue color over silver achieved by the wizards in the Production Department

The amazing artists Toby & Pete created this crown of glass swords out of...nothing. NOTHING! When we convinced ourselves to continue the crown theme we ended up slightly empty handed. Guess what? Not a whole lot of glass sword crowns out there! I think Toby & Pete did an amazing job solving our problem. It's so perfect for the series, just beautiful.

Not to be a tease, but there's so much more Red Queen stuff coming. I'm so freaking excited. Victoria Aveyard is not not only a class act, but one hell of a writer. I was type setting the ARE and landed on the last sentence. OMG—had to read the entire book, it had me hooked again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cover Reveal Week Day 2—The Shadow Queen



Ok so high concept fantasy books are super fun covers to work with. C.J. Redwine's newest book is an inspiration of Snow White and that poison apple needed to be legit.

Once we tackled the idea for a carved poison apple, there was literally no one better then Sean Freeman at Levine / Leavitt to execute this. Our email chains revolved around typography, water droplet placement, to where one could actually purchase an apple with a green leaf attached in the middle of winter where Sean lives . . . in London. (Spoiler alert, no where! Cue: digital leaf!)

Yes, that carved apple is actually carved. I don't know how the master of ceremonies did it. But it's awesome. I bet all will be revealed, yes? (oooo, foreshadowing!)

If you'd like to see more goodies about Shadow Queen, enter CJ's contest here for a chance to win an Advance copy.

The map inside will blow your mind. Oh, yes. There's a map. And it's magical.

What magical places inspire you? Tweet me at @stinkysarahd

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cover Reveal Week Day 1—Symptoms of Being Human

Today marks the first day of Cover Reveal week here at Harper! YES! Huzzah! Hooray!

Quite honestly Winter 2016 is going to be a Boss season for books. There a lot of awesome books (and covers to swoon over) coming up. Some are hotly anticipated sequels (#GlassSword, anyone?) and some are totally, unbelievably new—in every way— to YA.

When Symptoms of Being Human landed on my desk, I instantly knew I'd love it. For one, the story dealt with issues close to my own heart. For twos, it featured David Bowie. Bowie was my first and is my longest standing crush. Every single person who knew me in High School can back that up.  I mean, I made my partner fly with me to Chicago in January just to see David Bowie Is. Who else would fly to a colder place after New Years? Dance Magic, Dance.

Me, smiling in freezing admiration • Photo by the wonderful Joshua Ess 

But, back to Human. I won't say anything about the main character Riley because Riley does an excellent job speaking to what it means to be a gender-fluid teenager. Riley seems to find a lot of comfort in music when shit gets just a bit too real—something we can all identify with. Riley also seems to identify with Bowie. I think we've made a match.

After attacking Jeff Garvin's excellent manuscript in one full swoop, I felt as though Riley should be represented by the Thin White Duke. Hell, let's embody them both on the cover. So what, exactly, is cool enough to show Riley without giving it all away? Perhaps, a limited color palette and a rad hair cut would be just cool enough.

In an extra musical tip to the hat, we silk screen printed the entire jacket over at Gowanus Print Lab. The different levels in ink on the back cover and flap should help give this book a gig poster look. We will shoot these amazing pieces in house and digitize 'em—hopefully printing the cover on uncoated stock to give it a gritty paper feel.

Can't wait to read this nugget of awesome? Enter Jeff's contest here, for your chance to win an Advance copy. Even if you win, you'll want to buy this book. Unwrap the finished hardcover to reveal more Bowie inspired surprises. Also, you'll have yourself a sweet Gender Fluid / digitized-silk screen / Bowie inspired / paper flag. Hooray!

What music inspires you? Holler back at me on Twitter with your favorite musical inspirations at @stinkysarahd

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Red Queen hits #1!

Woah! What a crazy Wednesday was had yesterday!

Yesterday I was a guest on EpicReads Tea Time. Well, it was filmed last week but it aired yesterday! I was a bit nervous about going on the show. But Margot and her awesome partners in Tea Time Crime (that's a thing, right?) were so fun to hang out with! I mean, yes it's work so it's not exactly scary but I am a nervous pervous. I was super surprised how relaxed the whole thing was, and we got to talk about Wednesday's real big news: Red Queen! Obviously we didn't know it at the time, but Red Queen is the #1 best selling YA book this week. Hooray!

Here's the Tea Time episode if you haven't watched it—and you should really go back in time to watch more Team Time videos! They're hysterical (and so informative!)

So it's super duper great news for debut author Victoria Aveyard and all her friends at HarperCollins. Congrats to #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Victoria Aveyard! There are also so many people that work on a book to help make it successful. Great job and high fives go out to her editors, publicists, sales team, marketing coordinators, artists and well, everyone!

Speaking of artists! I have a "behind the scene" video here. It's not a whole lot, but you can kinda see how we made this work. The photographer Michael Frost had a few different kinds of stage blood all set up—which honestly did get a bit gross. We tried various kinds and one by one layered them over the crown. This was of course only the first step—getting the right shots! So much more work for the cover came later, But, I'm so happy to have been a part of such a cool process—Red Queen is for sure one of my favorites.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

So many books!

Let's just get started shall we?

Have you heard of this scientist who invented a test that can detect (with crazy accuracy) pancreatic cancer in its earliest stages?  I would try to explain this, but during my brief photoshoot with this scientist, I quickly understood I understood nothing. So I just copied this from his Wikipedia page:

Andraka cultured MIA PaCa cells, from a commercial pancreatic carcinoma cell line, which overexpress mesothelin, a biomarker[1] for ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers. The mesothelin was isolated, concentrated and quantified with ELISA.[2] After optimization with the Western Blot assay, the human mesothelin-specificantibodies were mixed with single-walled carbon nanotubes and used to coat strips of ordinary filter paper. This made the paper conductive. The optimal layering was determined using a scanning electron microscope. Cell media spiked with varying amounts of mesothelin were then tested against the paper biosensor and any change in the electrical potential of the sensor strip (due to the changing conductivity of the nanotubes) was measured, before and after each application.

Impressive, right? He figured that out when he was a Sophomore in High School. Are you serious? I'm not even going to get into what I was up to when I was Sophomore in High School. It was NOT winning Intel ISEF - smarty - pants - let's - change - the - world - Awards. If you don't know of Jack Andraka, watch this video where he wins that award. Truly I only met this man twice, we hung out for only one full day, but this video is 100% Jack Andraka. He's a knock out.

You've fallen in love, right? His book promises to be just a great. It's in book stores this March.

Photography by Mark Tucker • Overall matte / spot uv / emboss title

Back to us mortals. . . or not! This is Monsters! I present the very awesome Tween / Middle Grade novel, Monstrous. This was another ridiculously fun cover to work on. The amazingly talented Skottie Young keeps saying "yes" to my project proposals. I mean when you get to draw a character as sweet and fierce as our gal Kym here, why not, right?

Monstrous is available this February!

Art by Skottie Young / Lettering by David Coulson • overall matte / embossed title

And our newest list! These guys are the newer titles we all have to sit and wait patiently for.

I don't want to give anything away about Emmy & Oliver. I'll just say it's very good, has a surprising ending and it's unlike anything I've read in YA before. Oh, also I got to work with Matthew Allen who might be one of the nicest illustrators with the most California-y vibe ever.

Anyway, check this out in June.

Illustrations by Matt Allen • 4c gloss

And my first book with the imprint, Balzer + Bray. Blazer & Bray books are awesome. They can be edgy sometimes have social issues tied to them. They're real? I mean they are the kind of books a kid like me would have loved. I read all kids of books, obviously, but Finding Paris was another one that made me go "say WHA?!?" right until the end.

And I have to say the author, Joy Preble, is amazing! Not only in her writing and story development, but like she's nice y'all. When Barnes and Noble asked for an interview from her about Finding Paris, she talked about the cover. That's totally unnecessary! When it came out, I only sent it to my Mom because I was so embarrassed about how nice it was. My Mom in turn sent it to my Grandma. I should tell Joy Preble that she made my Grandma proud. Not that my Grandma wasn't already proud... but you get where I'm going.

So buy Finding Paris in April.

Photography thinkstock / lettering by me! • specs tk

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

a Red Queen

Whenever we have a cover reveal, I get nervous I'll spill the beans. It's a big secret and there's lots of anticipation and I'm always paranoid that somehow I'll have a cover lurking in the background of a photo. This actually happened not too long ago when a co-worker took a HILARIOUS picture of me at my desk, rolling out my back with a racquetball. We liked it because it looked like I had a back boob:

Me, My back boob, my embarrassment moments before said racquetball fell down my dress.

Anyway. In the back is the spec'ed comp of RED QUEEN along with the crown from the photo shoot. Thankfully it's nice and smudged and you can't really tell what's going on. But here in full regalia, and after the official reveal, our Red Queen.

4C over foil, mad hits of white, embossed crown, blood & title <3 it.

I'm not going to lie and pretend I don't absolutely adore this jacket. The full sales proof came in and I can't get enough of it. It's shiny and slick and beautiful. We printed a four color process over silver with various hits of opaque white. The silver crown bounces of the page, helped along by a sweet embossing plate. The blood runs in and out of those swirls and fleur-de-lis... ah that beautiful blood.

We had maybe too much fun on this shoot. The photographer, Michael Frost, got an ear full on blood consistency, drip lengths, and gore value from the Abracadabra costume shop on 19th street. (There is an actual "blood expert" at Abracadabra!) Finding fake blood that is beautiful proved to be an excellent challenge. I think we've managed to get that right balance of right and wrong here. And in truth, that crown is such a lovely shape, you almost forget what it's covered in—almost.

The story which is featured here, is wonderful. You should read it this winter. You can borrow the actual crown when you do—we cleaned off most of the blood... I think.